Slow Cooker French Toast Casserole

Slow Cooker French Toast Casserole - Chew Nibble NoshI made this dish purely out of skepticism.

I recently received the America’s Test Kitchen: Slow Cooker Revolution cookbook as a gift on Mother’s Day from my girls, because I guess they’ve heard that I like to cook!

If you’re an avid reader of this blog, you know that I love America’s Test Kitchen.  They are some crazy smart food people over there.  I’ve never made anything of theirs that hasn’t been good, so when I saw this recipe for a french toast casserole in a Crock Pot, I was really skeptical.  I mean, I love my Crock Pot, I really do, but some things just don’t work in it…and a lot of recipes I’ve tried in it just come out tasting like flavorless mush.  When thinking of French toast in a slow cooker, I had visions of rubbery eggs and mushy bread.  It wasn’t a pretty vision.

The ATK people assured me that this would work, though, so I figured I’d put my skepticism aside and I gave it a shot because I really do trust these people.

I started with an ounce of prevention.  I lined my slow cooker with foil, in hopes that it would help keep the insert a little bit cleaner.  (Turns out, I didn’t put it on tight enough and the egg still leaked through where two pieces of foil met up, but it was better than nothing.  Next time, I’ll be smarter about it.)

Slow Cooker French Toast Casserole 1 - Chew Nibble Nosh

ATK says that the key to this recipe working is dried out bread, so I cut up a large loaf of French bread (Nothing fancy, just the soft supermarket kind.) and placed the pieces on a large cookie sheet.  They went into the oven, at a low temperature, for forty minutes.  When they came out, they were crisp and dry, but not really toasted.

Slow Cooker French Toast Casserole 3 - Chew Nibble Nosh

Once the bread was ready, I poured the pieces into my lined slow cooker.  Then, I mixed together some milk, eggs, heavy cream, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon to pour over the top.

Slow Cooker French Toast Casserole 2 - Chew Nibble Nosh

I poured the mixture over the bread and pushed the bread in to submerge it just a bit.  Then, I mixed together some brown sugar and butter and stirred in some candied pecans. I was able to find praline pecans at the grocery store, and ATK claims that the candied nuts hold up better during the long cooking time.  They did remain crunchy, when all was said and done.  The pecan topping went on to the bread and we were ready to start (slow) cooking.

Slow Cooker French Toast Casserole 4 - Chew Nibble Nosh

Four hours later, my house smelled like a sweet, breakfast bakery, and I had a beautiful bunch of French toast on my hands for dinner.  Were the eggs rubbery and the bread a mushy mess?  Nope.  Everything about it was perfectly perfect, right down to the crunchy pecan streusel on top.  I was really impressed, and my family was to busy gobbling it up to take in the beauty, and amazement, of French toast in the Crock Pot.  It was a huge success!

Slow Cooker French Toast Casserole - Chew Nibble Nosh

SLOW COOKER FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen: Slow Cooker Revolution

Slow Cooker French Toast Casserole
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Slow Cooker
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
Ingredients
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 (16 oz.) loaf supermarket French or Italian bread (Not a loaf with a thick crust), cut into 1-inch cubes (about 16 cups)
  • 2½ cups whole milk
  • 7 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • 2 cups candied pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped
Instructions
  1. Tightly line your slow cooker with foil and coat with nonstick spray.
  2. Adjust the rack in your oven to the middle position, and preheat the oven to 225*F.
  3. Spread the bread cubes out onto a large cookie sheet, and bake, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes, until the bread is crisp and dried out.
  4. Pour the bread cubes into the prepared slow cooker.
  5. Whisk together the milk, eggs, cream, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour the egg mixture over the bread in the slow cooker and push down the bread a bit so it can soak in the egg.
  6. Mix together the softened butter and the brown sugar. Stir in the candied nuts. Sprinkle the nut mixture over the top of the bread.
  7. Cover, and cook until the center of the casserole is set, about 4 hours on LOW.
  8. Remove the top from the slow cooker, turn off the heat, and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes.
  9. Serve with maple syrup.
  10. ENJOY!

21 thoughts on “Slow Cooker French Toast Casserole

  1. It was the word “skeptical” that sold me, because that’s what I thought when I saw the title! But this does sound like it’s worth a try. Thanks!

  2. I really want to try this, but for breakfast in the slow cooker, I need it to cook at least 6, or preferably, 8 hours. What do you think would happen to this going that long? Wish my crock had a delayed start…

    • I know. That’s my one beef with this recipe. It isn’t slow enough to get in a good night’s sleep! It’s perfect for a brunch, or breakfast for dinner, like we had. Does your Crock Pot have a “warm” setting? Mine does. I can set it for a block of time and then it will just stay warm. I’m honestly not sure what would happen if you cooked it 6 hours. 🙁 Maybe I’ll pester the people at America’s Test Kitchen and see if they tried it on a longer setting! I’ll let you know what I find out. Sorry!

    • Walmart, Target and home center stores like Lowes and Home Depot all carry timers you can hook your crockpot up to. I think they were designed with the traveler in mind to hook up home lights to so they’d turn on and off at intervals to make it look like someone is home but they work wonderful for this as well! If you need it to turn on when you’re sleeping or in bed, you would plug it into this little gizmo, set it and forget it until it’s time to eat the Yums!

      • I thought about using a timer, but I am afraid that it would get soggy just sitting there. Help?! (Looking for a way to feed a crowd sleeping over for the family reunion!)

        • What time are you planning on feeding everyone? If you don’t mind messing with your sleep cycle a bit, I would suggest prepping (drying out) the bread, whisking together all of the egg ingredients and leaving them in the fridge, and mixing up the topping the night before. The bread and topping don’t need to be chilled. Then, if you want breakfast around 9:00, set your alarm for 5:00 (I know….), dump all of the ingredients in the slow cooker, start it up, and head back to bed! Good luck!

  3. I’m pinning this recipe. It looks delicious. Can’t wait to try it.

    Stopping by from Saturday ShareFest.

  4. I would have never thought of making French toast in a slow cooker. I’m impressed!

  5. HOLY MOLY….WOW….french toast casserole, this is beyond awesome and I am so trying this. thanks. Happy Saturday Sharefest.

  6. What size of slow cooker did you use? I found that makes a big difference when making things

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  8. I made this one last winter – HEAVENLY breakfast! Not so much ‘french toast’…think more cinnamon roll bread pudding. I’ve made it a couple times – I’d highly recommend sucking it up and doing the 4 hour setting. I tried low for 6 hours, wasn’t cooked enough. Left it for 2 more hours and it had developed a burnt flavor even though none of it was.

    • This comment is confusing to me. You said you made it twice and recommend the 4 hour setting. Then you say 6 hours was not enough and 2 more hours had a burnt flavor. So, was four hours on low sufficient or not?

  9. I made this, but I used pumpkin spice in place of Cinnamon and pumpkin spice creamer in place of heavy cream…. The Autumn version! 🙂

  10. I really did not believe that this recipe would turn out. I was almost 60% certain it would come out undercooked or pure mush. But this turned out amazing. We are so addicted to it. And it tastes better than regular french toast, which I am terrible at making. Thank you so much for the recipe!

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